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Chuck and Woodchuck Hardcover – March 8, 2016
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From School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-Caroline is excited to show off her grandfather's ukulele at show and tell. Her classmates have cool stuff to show, too, but no one's item tops Chuck's. Chuck brings a…woodchuck to first grade. When the woodchuck turns out to be fun to spend time with, the class begs their teacher to let him stay. Caroline knows that he is always kind and generous to her, but she doesn't exactly know why. When Caroline loses her cupcake, Woodchuck replaces it with Chuck's. And it's Chuck's hat Woodchuck gives Caroline when she is cold during recess. It turns out that Woodchuck has been doing some friend-matching for Chuck, who is too shy to approach Caroline himself. Bell's charming cartoon illustrations are humorous and have a retro feel to them. Readers will go back and review the illustrations after catching on to Woodchuck's plan, and see Chuck hovering nervously at the edge of the page while Woodchuck takes the initiative. The story is told from Caroline's point of view, and it is pitch-perfect. This will be a fun classroom read-aloud, since it goes through the whole school year. VERDICT Children will be clamoring for their own woodchuck once they read this tale-where did Chuck find his?-Susan E. Murray, formerly at Glendale Public Library, AZα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Bell’s warm and colorful graphic style, which uses ink and digital illustrations, embraces the many personalities of the class, as well as giving off the happy vibes of burgeoning affection. The bright and cheerful double-page spreads show the toothsome, fuzzy-tailed, lovable Woodchuck comically facilitating a flowering friendship.
It’s an odd little story, engagingly illustrated with clear, unfussy ink and digital pictures in a cheerful school setting that make the action easy to follow...This is probably the first woodchuck matchmaker in a picture book, and he’s a feisty and endearing one—with good instincts, too; Chuck and Caroline seem made for each other.
—The Horn Book
A first-grader named Caroline narrates this beguilingly offbeat story from Bell (I Yam a Donkey), drawn in the artist's characteristic childlike style...Chuck's cumulative acts of kindness draw attention from Woodchuck's flashiness to a deeper place, and Bell's creation respects the intense emotions of schoolroom crushes.
—Publishers Weekly Online
Bell’s charming cartoon illustrations are humorous and have a retro feel to them...The story is told from Caroline’s point of view, and it is pitch-perfect. This will be a fun classroom read-aloud, since it goes through the whole school year. Children will be clamoring for their own woodchuck once they read this tale—where did Chuck find his?
—School Library Journal
The gently budding friendship (and perhaps a bit of romance?) between Chuck and Caroline has a quiet appeal that is balanced nicely with Woodchuck’s amusing antics. Caroline’s casual narration is credibly primary-grade ("Woodchuck started playing with some of our show-and-tell stuff! It was hilarious!"), as is Chuck’s shyness...Pull this out to refresh a Groundhog Day story session or share it as a sweet-but-not-sticky friendship story.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
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Picture book written and illustrated by CeCe Bell, published by Candlewick Press.
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